Apples. Perhaps they remind you of the school days, when no matter what else was in your lunch, you always had an apple. Remember how hard apples were to eat when you could not rely on your front teeth? It seems that apples, teachers, and school are inextricably linked together!
Regardless of where you are today, apples should still play an important role in your diet. This attractive fruit contains many properties that are essential to optimum health.
Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fibers which enhance many body functions. Eating only one apple a day will supply you with 20% of the RDA of fiber for a 2,000- calorie diet.
(1) Eating two or three apples a day lowers cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, and keeps blood sugar levels steady.
(2) Pectin, a soluble fiber making up 25% of the apples’ total fiber, improves transit time through the intestines, thus aiding weight loss. Pectin helps to lower cholesterol by reducing the absorption of fat. One French study showed a 28% drop in cholesterol, which translated into a 56% drop in the risk of heart disease. Even more beneficial is the apples’ ability to raise the desirable HDL cholesterol level, and lower the destructive, artery-clogging, LDL level.
(3) The insoluble fibers—cellulose and hemicellulose—are helpful for the removal of cancer-causing substances from the colon wall. They also aid in weight loss by giving a sense of fullness while not adding fat.
(4) Studies have shown that those who eat more apples tend to have fewer colds, fewer upper respiratory infections, and less sickness all around. Apples aid in the prevention of both constipation and diarrhea. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that apples helped to decrease the time it took to have a bowel movement, by increasing the stool weight, which in turn increased the number of trips to the bathroom during a 24-hour period.
(5) If suffering a bout of diarrhea, grate one ripe apple, and allow it to stand at room temperature for several hours until it is considerably darkened before eating. The oxidized pectin is the same basic ingredient used in Kaopectate®.
(6) A poultice made from apple helps to reduce fevers. In order to make one, finely grate an apple and spread it ½” thick on a piece of double-layered cheesecloth about 6” in length. Apply this to the forehead. It may also be applied to the throat or chest area if needed. Leave on for one hour.
(7) Two British doctors gave a group of children one or two thin slices of raw apple after each meal or for a snack. They subsequently discovered that as a result there was a substantial decrease in cavities.
(8) Apples give off large amounts of ethylene gas — a substance produced by fruit that aids in its ripening. To speed the ripening of other fruits, you may place an apple (or apple slices) in a bag with them. You can also use apple slices to soften hardened fructose or granulated sugars.
(9) It is always amazing to see the wonders that God has created—so many nutrients put in such a small package!
1 Michigan Apple Committee, http://MichiganApples.com
2 K. Davis, Nature’s Healing Foods.
4 Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C. & James F. Balch, M.D., RX Prescription for Cooking & Dietary Wellness, 93.
5 The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 1978.
6 Energy Times, Nov./Dec. 1996.
8 Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C. & James F. Balch, M.D., RX Prescription for Cooking and Dietary Wellness, 106.
This article is an excerpt from a newsletter published by Preventive Health Care, the ministry of Dr. Phil Collins.
Did you Know...
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the largest apple ever plucked from a tree weighed three pounds, two ounces, and was picked in Caro, Michigan!